I look for the following things in my paintings: dynamic color movements, balance, a sense of space, a story, feeling or emotion that is clearly communicated, and the hardest thing to explain: that something special that elevates the work from ordinary to special (different/compelling/unique/attracting).
One of the things I love about being an artist is the opportunity to experiment. I've had tremendous fun in my studio playing with all the possibilities that the media I use (acrylic paint with glaze medium).
I recently came across this article about the relationship between abstract artist Jackson Pollack and figurative artist Thomas Hart Benton. Benton was Pollack's teacher and mentor, and though Benton's artistic style was so very different from Pollack's, the roots of Pollack's work can be traced back to Benton.
I was struck yet again by this article, as it points to how the associations one makes with other artists can be such an important catalyst in one's own work. Time and again, as an art student, I would learn about groups of artists that built movements that changed the course of art. And as a student, working in a large studio on my own work but among my peers was such a creative and energizing experience. Now, on my own, in my studio, I sometimes long for those days when there was a long wait time to use the sink, or the easels that were left when you were one of the last to get to class were the rickety ones that somehow made it through the three studio hours without falling apart - but just barely.
Making art in my own studio is a great privilege and I am grateful. But I have to admit to missing those crowded group studio classes, back in the day....
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